All I Don’t Want For Christmas

Sadly, the focus of Christmas is materialistic. What one wants for Christmas or, if you listen to the ads, what you deserve for Christmas, is a top consideration. Why there are even songs about Christmas wishes. Who hasn’t heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” a gazillion times? And two front teeth are the objects of desire in another tune about Christmas wishes. Perhaps I march to the beat of a different drummer, but I’ve stopped to consider what I DON’T want for Christmas. Here are a few items on my “Don’t Wish” list.

1.  Tickets To The 2020 Python Bowl.  I love college football and would welcome the opportunity to be in the stands at a bowl game. In particular, I’d be on cloud nine if I had tickets to the Sugar Bowl to watch my alma mater play Baylor. (GO DAWGS!!!)  But I would refuse tickets to the Python Bowl in southern Florida in January. Never heard of the Python Bowl? Well, the event is just what the name implies. There’s no pigskin involved–just snakeskin. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a python hunting competition in an effort to rid the Sunshine State of this non-native destructive species. Pythons are a big problem in Florida both literally and figuratively.  These snakes can grow up to 20 feet long and 200 pounds. Snakes alive! Better yet, snakes dead as a result of the Python Bowl.

2. Receiving An A. Typically an A is something good to get–if you are a student. However, if you are a Florida resident, getting an A could be horrible news if that A is Hepatitis A. The number of Hepatitis A cases in Florida is growing exponentially; in fact, Florida’s Surgeon General declared a public health emergency in August as a result. The outbreak is hitting Floridians harder than elsewhere in the country. Seventy-eight percent of the Hepatitis A cases in Florida have required hospitalization compared to 60 percent nationally; the mortality rate in Florida is also higher than the national rate. Therefore, I won’t be yelling “Give me an A!” this Christmas.

3. Absurd Art. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. But common sense dictates that a banana duct-taped to a wall is simply not art. A monkey could accomplish that result assuming he didn’t eat said banana first. Nevertheless, a Miami couple coughed up over $100,000 for an Italian artist’s “conceptual artwork” made with a piece of fruit, some sticky tape, and a wall. So any of you well-heeled art lovers who are dying to gift me with expensive art can forgo any rendition of a masterpiece involving a Chiquita product. Sorry, it just doesn’t a-PEEL to me.

4. Ring Security Camera. A security camera is meant to provide, well, a sense of security, right? That’s not the case for a number of owners of Ring cameras recently who experienced a breach of security in their homes. Rather than promoting security, these devices provided the means for a breach of it to occur. One couple was aghast to learn someone had hacked into their Ring security camera and used it to talk to their 8 year old daughter while she was alone in her room. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick to non-technological means of home security, i.e., my dog. Hack that security device; I dare you!

5. A Shore Excursion To White Island. I love to travel and explore new places. But some places just aren’t worth the risk of visiting. A case in point is White Island in New Zealand. The island is the exposed tip of a highly volatile mostly undersea volcano. Despite the volcano regularly venting steam and mud, some curious tourists took a shore excursion to White Island from their cruise ship. Forty-seven people were on the island at the time of an eruption a week ago Monday; sixteen of those 47 have died. Curiosity killed the proverbial cat, and it might kill some adventurous tourists as well. Think I’ll stay home where it’s nice and safe this Christmas.

6. Faux Foods.  Healthy eating and Christmas don’t go hand in hand. Dieting discipline goes out the window when one is offered homemade candies and baked goods during the holidays. Even though these items may be a foe to keeping a trim waistline, at least they undeniably taste good. I won’t be clamoring for someone to offer me the top food of 2019–cauliflower pizza. Yes, according to Grubhub’s annual “Year in Food” report, this type of pizza rose in popularity by 650% from the previous year. The top meat-alternative food was the impossible burger. Yup, that name sums it up for me. It would be impossible for me to get excited about biting into this burger. I’d want to know, “Where’s the beef?”

7.  A Gold Plated Vacuum Cleaner.  In the “What were they thinking?” category is the gold plated vacuum cleaner. I am not enamored with doing house cleaning, and that outlook is not likely to change even if my cleaning equipment looks like a million bucks and has a matching price tag for that amount. Admittedly, I’d be in an elite group of only 100 people who owned this gleaming dust guzzler. But do I care what the packaging is on the outside of a container which has gathered the pet hair and dirt from my carpets and floors? Nope.

Fortunately, chances are slim I’ll receive any of the things listed here that I don’t want. Actually, the things I want most for Christmas are not items which can be put in a box and wrapped up for giving. How about some peace on Earth or at least less divisiveness here in our country? Could I get some down time where I could kick back and relax without being busy, busy, busy? Can we all experience the joy of the true meaning of Christmas which has nothing to do with Santa, wish lists, and packages under the Christmas tree? The best present of all was wrapped up for us in some swaddling clothes; He’s the reason for the season.

Just WONDER-ing: Is there something you don’t want for Christmas? If so, what is it? Have you gotten something you did want for Christmas and then were disappointed by it?